Roma residents will be better protected from future floods with work officially starting on the town’s long awaited flood levee.
Turning the first sod, Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said the $15.6 million levee would ease the strain on locals fatigued after years of floods and rising insurance costs.
“Locals have weathered four floods in four years and refused to let Mother Nature get the better of them,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“The levee will provide the certainty the community needs to grow and prosper.”
Jointly funded by the Maranoa Regional Council and the State and Federal Governments, the first stage of the levee will extend 4.9 kilometres from the north of the airport to the eastern side of town along Bungil Creek, and protect around 420 homes.
Further stages could extend flood protection to an additional 60 homes and an industrial estate.
Mr Crisafulli said the better flood protection should result in lower insurance premiums.
“I call on the insurance industry to do the right thing and take into account the reduced flood risks for many Roma property owners once the levee is completed,” he said.
“Insurers should both re-enter the market and lower insurance costs.
“While I have consistently said we will never flood proof a state as big as Queensland, we can work together to better protect vulnerable communities so they can recover more quickly.
“Instead of burying our heads in the sand, this project shows we can come up with viable and responsible plans for levees, diversion channels and retention basins that make sense and provide lasting benefit.”
Other Queensland communities with levees either on the drawing board or about to begin construction include Eulo, Wyandra, Cairns, Mackay, Gympie, Bundaberg, St George, Laidley, Forest Hill and Rockhampton.
Press Release, September 24, 2013